Amber 2011: Anand and the domination game

3/13/2011 – In our first report of round one we dealt with all kinds of accidents and blunders that befell the players in this blindfold and rapid chess tournament. Today we turn to a remarkable 67-move game in which the reigning World Champion Viswanathan Anand used the domination motif to take a point off his last-year's challenger Veselin Topalov. GM Karsten Müller explains how it was done.

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The 20th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament is taking place at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort in Monaco, from March 11 to 24, 2011. Every day four sessions are played, two blindfold and two rapid. The first session starts at 14.30h, the fourth session finishes around 20.00h. The rate of play is 25 minutes per game per player. With every move made in the blindfold games 20 seconds is added to the clock, with every move made in the rapid games 10 seconds is added.

Round one results

Blindfold Chess   Rapid Chess
Nakamura-Carlsen ½-½   Carlsen-Nakamura 1-0
Aronian-Giri 1-0   Giri-Aronian 0-1
Ivanchuk-Gashimov 0-1   Gashimov-Ivanchuk 1-0
Karjakin-Gelfand 0-1   Gelfand-Karjakin 1-0
Grischuk-Kramnik 1-0   Kramnik-Grischuk 0-1
Anand-Topalov 1-0   Topalov-Anand ½-½

Anand and the domination game

Anand,V (2817) - Topalov,V (2775) [C67]
20th Amber Blindfold Monaco MNC (1), 12.03.2011 [Karsten Müller]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 Ne7 10.h3 Ng6 11.Bg5+ Ke8 12.Rad1 Bd7 13.Rd2 Be7 14.Rfd1 Be6 15.Bxe7 Kxe7 16.Kh2 h5 17.Ne4 Rad8 18.Nc5 Rxd2 19.Rxd2 Bc8 20.b4 h4 21.Rd3 Rd8 22.Rxd8 Kxd8 23.g4 hxg3+ 24.Kxg3 b6 25.Nd3 Be6 26.a3 Bd5 27.Nd4 Ke7 28.Nf5+ Kf8 29.f4 Be4 30.Kg4 f6 31.exf6 gxf6 32.h4 Nh8 33.Ng3 Bh7 34.f5 Nf7 35.Kf4 Nd6 36.Nf2 Bg8 37.Nfe4 Ne8 38.h5 Kg7 39.Nf2 Ba2 40.Ng4 Bb1 41.h6+ Kh7 42.c3 Nd6 43.Nxf6+ Kxh6 44.Ng4+ Kg7 45.Ne5 Kf6 46.Nh5+ Ke7 47.Nxc6+ Kf8 48.Ng3 Nb5 49.Ne2 Bd3 50.a4 Bxe2 51.axb5 Bxb5 52.Nxa7 Bd7 53.c4 Ke7 54.Ke5 Be8 55.Nb5 c6 56.f6+ Kd7 57.Nd6 Bg6 58.c5 bxc5 59.bxc5 Bb1 60.Nc4 Ba2 61.Nb6+ Ke8 62.Kd6 Kf7

Anand's job is not easy despite the reduced material as the bishop is superior to the knight in open positions: 63.Kxc6? Anand gives his passed f-pawn too early and frees the bishop from the duty of defending the pawn on c6. He should first bring his knight to the kingside. As he has full control he has time for the long manovers: 63.Nd7 Bd5 (63...Be6 64.Kxc6+-) 64.Ke5 Ke8 65.Nb8 Bg2 66.Na6 Kf7 67.Nb4 Bh1 68.Nc2 Bd5 69.Nd4 and Black will be overrun sooner or later, e.g. 69...Ke8 70.Ne6 Bc4 71.Ng5 Kd7 (71...Kf8 72.Kd6 Bd5 73.f7 Bg2 74.Ke6+-) 72.Kf5 Bd3+ 73.Ne4 Ke8 74.Ke5 Kd7 (74...Kf7 75.Ng5+ Kf8 76.Kd6 Bb5 77.f7+-) 75.Ng3 Bc4 76.Nf5 Bd5 77.Nd6 Bb3 78.Kf5 Bc2+ 79.Kg5 Ke6 80.Nb7 Be4 81.Nd8+ Kd7 82.Kh6 Kxd8 83.f7+-

63...Kxf6 64.Kd6 Bb1! The right way to stop the pawn. 64...Be6? runs into 65.Nd7+ Kf7 66.c6 Bc4 67.Ne5++-;
64...Kf7? 65.c6 Be6 66.c7 Bf5 67.Nd7+-

65.c6 Bd3? runs into a beautiful refutation. 65...Be4! was the only defense as given by Golubev in Chess Today 3777: 66.Nd5+ (66.c7 Bb7 67.Kd7 (67.Nd7+ Kf7 68.Nc5 Bc8=) 67...Ke5! 68.Nc4+ Kd5 69.Nd6 Ba6=) 66...Kf7 67.c7 Bf5 68.Nb6 Ke8!=

66.Nd7+! and Black's forces are dominated: 66...Kg7. 66...Kf7 67.Ne5++-; 66...Kf5 67.Nc5+-

67.Nc5. 67.Nc5 Bf5 68.Ke7 Bc8 69.Kd8 Bf5 70.c7 Kf7 71.Nd7+-. 1-0. [Click to replay]


The start of the rapid chess game which ended in a draw


Player portraits


Photo by John Nunn in Monaco

Viswanathan Anand, India – Elo rating: 2817, World ranking: 1; born December 11, 1969, Amber highlights: Overall winner in 1994, 1997, 2003, 2005 and 2006 (shared with Morozevich). Shared first in the rapid and shard overall second in 2009.

Viswanathan Anand is one of the most successful players in chess history. His list of victories is dazzling and his Amber record is no exception. Five times he won the tournament and his overall score of 235 points from 374 games (62.83 %) is the highest of all. Only on two occasions he didn't take part. The last time was last year, when he was preparing for the World Championship match against Veselin Topalov in Sofia. The result of that match seemed to confirm the correctness of his decision, as after a tense fight he successfully defended his world title.

Anand became the 'undisputed' World Champion after he brilliantly defeated Vladimir Kramnik in Bonn in 2008. With that victory the Indian grandmaster became the first chess player to win the World Championship in all the formats we have seen in recent years. In 2000 he won the FIDE knock-out World Championship that started in New Delhi and was decided in the final in Tehran, where he trounced Shirov 3.5-0.5. In 2007 Anand triumphed in the World Championship Tournament in Mexico. And finally he was successful in the traditional match format as well.

Briefly recapping Anand's splendid career is impossible but we might single out his wins in Linares in 1998, 2007 and 2008, his triumphs in the World Cup tournaments in Shenyang 2000 and Hyderabad 2002 and his win in Dortmund in 2004. His achievements in Wijk aan Zee are unparalleled. With five wins between 1989(!) and 2006 he is the most successful player in the rich history of this classic event.

In rapid chess Anand is in a class of his own and listing his victories there would come close to giving an overview of the events held in the past years. But we might single out the Chess Classic in Mainz, where he won an amazing eleven times.

The first time Anand skipped the Amber tournament, in 2002, he returned to claim a convincing victory. Let's see what he will do in this jubilee edition. His most recent performances show that he is in great shape. Both in London and Wijk aan Zee he remained unbeaten and collected enough rating points to reclaim the top spot in the world rankings.

Source: Amber 2011 web site

Links

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